Thursday, December 19, 2013

our arrival in good old germany and snow in the wrong place...

we arrived safely and without many complications in germany last thursday evening. findus that cat was quiet the whole flight and seems to have taken the adventure well. no hiding under beds or cup boards for days, no hungerstrike, no leaving presents anywhere. he is living inside for now until he gets used to his new home. after a few weeks we might let him out (if he wants to...he does not like rain).
the day after we left israel, the worst (snow) storm in decades swept over "the holy land", brought jerusalem up to 50cm of snow and hail in tel aviv!
snow in jerusalem (image source)
the weather all around the globe seems to be out of balance. we should have snowstorms here in germany not in israel and egypt... right now the temperatures where we are are around 0°C but no snow in sight, only rain. i am still hoping for a white christmas, but the forecast says 5-11°C...
snow at the western wall (image source)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

wordless wednesday - grain mill beck

we went to a grain mill with a "transparent production" in a neigbouring village
there was a mill in this spot since 1529!
transparent production mean you can see all the production steps inside the mill
where the grain is milled, sorted and filled into bags.
and in the back they have the cutest shop with everything you could possibly ask for =)
if you want to visit them have a look at their website: 
all the pictures in this post were taken by my mum

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

wordless wednesday - the olive press...

we filled in the olives...
...then they went up to seperate the olives from leaves and other debris.
the debris goes here...
the olives continue.
here they get boiled several times...
and when they are really soft they pass on to this centrifuge.
the oli gets extracted and ends up here =)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

charkesian cheese

this is a very simple and quick cheese that is named after a minority in israel: the charkesians/ circassians. this cheese can even be made with milk that might be considered slightly to old for regular cheese. hadar, who teaches us how to make cheese showed me how you can tell that goat milk has been standing for too long. you start the cheese making process by heating the milk and if the milk burns on the bottom of the pot and smells strongly goaty it is not suitable for making yoghurt or other cheeses out of it. it might even curdle when you heat it (liquids separating from the solids).
if this happens you might still be able to make charkesian cheese out of the milk. 
the process is quiet simple:
  1. you heat the cheese to 90°C 
  2. then take it off the heat and stir it so the milk will be in motion. now slowly add some vinegar until you see the curds separating from the liquids. make sure not to stir it now (you might break up the curds), just make sure that the vinegar reaches everywhere.
  3. drain the whey carefully, add salt and/or herbs and pack the cheese into cheese shapes.
  4. let it drip for several minutes and when the cheese separates from the shape when you tilt it you can flip the cheeses and put it back in the cheese shape so they will get an even appearance and texture.
  5. now let it sit a bit more and your cheese is finished =)
i was amazed how fast this cheese works and how simple it is. it is perfect for beginners like me and gives instant reward. it is only a very simple cheese though and the turnover is not very good (ratio of milk to finished cheese).
(i will need to take some good photos next time we make some... it is always eaten so quickly ;))

Saturday, October 26, 2013

lilly the crazy pet goat

goats are funny animals and lilly is definately one of the most ridicules ones ( in a good way =)). 
when lilly came to yarok az she was very sick (some problem with her stomac) and the owner gave her away because he did not think she will make it in his herd. 
when we arrived at yarok az she was running around freely, feeing a lot better but still a bit weak. in the last weeks she got better and better and with that sillier and sillier! 
she is jumping, running around, nibbling on everything she can find (including noses, pants, hair....)
when we planted the garden with the winter crops she needed to be locked up, otherwise there was no way we would be eating any vegetables out of the garden this winter. 
also she will need to get used to live with other goats and not only with us humans. so we put her with the kids (they are about her age but she is way smaller because of all the problems she had when she was small) and she is doing great. i still take her out once in a while.
she eats everything... plastic, my clothes... earth..
and every time i come to visit her she greats me like this =)
and wants to climb!
if i could i would pack her in my suitcase and take her with me to germany!
she is the most adorable goat i have met so far.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

wordless wednesday - renovating the compost toilet/mud plastering

the test mixtures
mixing the mud, lime, sand, water, horse manure mixture
wetting the surface for better grip
osnat is starting to apply the mix
finishing touches
now the window...
finished =)